The Golden-Bellied Capuchin (Sapajus Xanthosternos), also known as the Yellow-Breasted Capuchin or Buffy-Headed Capuchin, is a New World Monkey in the Cebidae family of monkeys and is found the Atlantic forest regions of south-eastern Bahia and Brazil. Commonly described as having a distinctive yellowish-red chest, belly, and upper arms, these color traits are what give the Golden-Bellied Capuchin its name. Furthermore, their limbs and tail feature very dark fur which contrasts sharply with their main torso and makes the Golden-Bellied Capuchin very distinguishable among other members of the Capuchin family. They one of only 3 types of Capuchins to be considered “critically endangered”, with as few as 85 individuals still alive as of 2004.
The Golden-Bellied Capuchin can be found in the Atlantic forest regions of south-eastern Bahia and Brazil. Though they likely once inhabited regions to the east and north of their current range, they are somewhat restricted to their current regions because of deforestation and other interferences by man. Though the Golden-Bellied Capuchin prefers primary growth forests that are dense with vegetation, they also thrive in areas of secondary growth or in areas that have been partially harvested for lumber. They spend about equal portions of their time between the forest canopy and the forest floor depending on which type of food they are most interested in obtaining.
Like many other New World Monkeys inhabiting the Atlantic forest regions, the Golden-Bellied Capuchin prefers a healthy balance of both plants and animals as part of their diet. These omnivores eat a wide range of food sources including nuts, fruit, eggs, birds, frogs, lizards, spiders, and other small insects. Spending approximately equal amounts of time foraging for plants and small animal prey, the Golden-Bellied Capuchin spends equal time in the canopy as it does at ground level.
Fun Golden-Bellied Capuchin Facts
- Golden-Bellied Capuchins are one of only 3 species of Capuchins that are considered “critically endangered”, with as few as 84 individuals observed in existence in 2004.
- Golden-Bellied Capuchins spend equal amounts of time in the canopy and on the forest floor.
- The name “Capuchin” comes from the distinctive colored “caps” of fur that each member species has on the top of their head.
- The Golden-Bellied Capuchin does not have very evident tufts, as they are located towards the back of the head and are not very noticeable or predominant